Q What are some of the less known but effective marketing strategies available for cash-strapped companies?
A Whether a marketing strategy succeeds or not depends on how precisely the marketer has identified the target segment and whether the product or service being marketed offers a compelling benefit to those potential customers. Since I do not know the nature of your business, I will highlight some variants of the "word-of-mouth" techniques that are inexpensive.
You may think about creating advertising material for your products and putting it on a website such as YouTube. Some leading brands have successfully launched innovative online advertising campaigns and achieved increased awareness and greater buzz for their brands.
You may also try some of the popular social networking sites such as MySpace or Orkut and put up your product or service demos and messages for people to see. These avenues are free and they offer a potential for increased word of mouth. If your marketing message is creative, it's likely that the person seeing it may feel motivated to forward it to friends, thereby generating greater awareness for your brand.
In addition, you may make use of the professional networking site Linkedin. This site has been used effectively by professional consultants to advertise their services; it offers the opportunity to provide a link to your company on your personal page. The name of the game is to tap into a network of professionals who may be interested in your products or services.
Any of these approaches may be successful, but only if the right audience happens to get exposed to them.
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF MARKETING,
UNIVERSITY OF ST. THOMAS
OPUS COLLEGE OF BUSINESS